Hit The Panic Button? A Wedding Will Likely Cost The GOP One Vote In Kavanaugh Confirmation Battle

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Posted: Oct 04, 2018 8:30 PM
Hit The Panic Button? A Wedding Will Likely Cost The GOP One Vote In Kavanaugh Confirmation Battle

UPDATE: Things are covered?

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The final confirmation vote on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh is upon us. Last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a cloture motion, meaning that at the earliest this vote could happen some time on Saturday. Well, we’re already one vote down. Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) said that he will be attending his daughter’s wedding that day and will not be in Washington to cast his vote (via Roll Call):

Sen. Steve Daines won't be in town if the Senate votes this weekend on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, which could leave Republicans in a bind.

The Montana Republican told AP that he will attend his daughter’s wedding back home on Saturday regardless of a possible weekend vote on the embattled Supreme Court nominee.

Daines told The Associated Press Thursday that this weekend there’s going to be a new Supreme Court justice and that he is going to walk his daughter down the aisle.

We’re veering towards rocky shoals with this vote, folks. Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) have already said they’re voting no on this nomination. That leaves Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) remain the wild cards. Collins and Manchin are playing this close to the vest. 

Democrats blitzed the whole nomination process when they dropped 11th hour sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. So far, there are three allegations, all of them lacking in evidence or corroborating witnesses. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) had a letter written by the first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges that a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a high school party, for weeks. She never told anyone about. She never shared it with her Senate colleagues. It’s highly likely that she leaked it to the press at zero hour to stop Kavanaugh from being confirmed. Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick have also come forward with allegations. Ramirez alleges an incident of indecent exposure at Yale. Swetnick says Kavanaugh was part of a gang rape ring. Again, every allegation is without evidence. Flake voted to advance the nomination to the Senate floor last week, but requested a weeklong delay for the FBI to do an investigation into the accusations. With Collins and Murkowski agreeing, the Trump White House launched another FBI probe, the seventh into the judge. 

Today, both Collins and Flake said that the recent FBI report, which was released last night, is adequate (via WaPo):

Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh moved closer to confirmation as the Senate prepared for a key vote Friday, with Republicans arguing that an FBI report on sexual misconduct allegations exonerated the judge. 

Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) — two decisive Republican votes — indicated Thursday that the additional FBI probe was adequate, although they both cautioned they would continue to read the secretive report. Flake also told reporters that “we’ve seen no additional corroborating information” to bolster the allegation from Christine Blasey Ford, who emotionally testified last week that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers. 

Satisfying Flake and Collins, as well as a third Republican, Lisa Murkowski, would be enough to confirm Kavanaugh. The senator from Alaska, facing pressure from Native Americans in her state, has not said how she will vote.

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“I’m sensing we’re in a good place,” said Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 3 Senate Republican, a day ahead of a key procedural vote. Noting the handful of GOP senators who had been on the fence, Thune said the FBI probe “was sufficiently thorough to satisfy the concerns that some of them had voiced.”

With Murkowski, a little birdy on the Hill—a Senate source told Townhall that Murkowski is leaning no due to Kavanaugh’s temperament. There’s still time to whip votes I guess. Prior to Jeff Flake nuking the whole game plan. The GOP had the votes, then they didn’t, or better yet, the usual suspects went into the bunker under the cover waiting for the FBI report, and now we’re in limbo again. Oh, and we have a missing GOP senator to boot. 

Tomorrow's cloture vote will be a key test to see how this goes down. It's set to be held at 10:30 AM.